Selecting the Best Recruitment Process Outsourcing Partner

When your business needs to replace outgoing employees, or when you are expanding your team, it can be challenging for businesses of any size to manage the end-to-end recruiting process. Many executives and departmental managers are very skilled at running their business but are uncomfortable with the interviewing process. HR managers are often great at interviewing candidates, but their company is challenged with attracting qualified candidates. 

Recruitment Process Outsourcing (RPO) service provider can manage the end-to-end recruiting process for your organization, including: 

  • Creating, publishing and distributing a keyword-rich job description which will attract the right candidates
  • Analysis of submitted resumes, both through an Applicant Tracking System and human reviews
  • Interviewing candidates and creating a shortlist for the company they are representing
  • Arranging logistics for subsequent in-person interviews between hiring managers and prospective hires
  • Doing reference and criminal background checks 
  • Keeping candidates interested and engaged as others 
  • Creating and distributing offer letters to selected candidates
  • Negotiation of salary, benefits, start date, and other terms
  • Finalizing contract with new hire and employer

According to a survey by the Aberdeen Group and the RPO Association, about 60% of companies manage their own recruiting processes. The report also found companies that manage their own recruiting are 59% more likely to struggle to create a viable talent pipeline. Companies that need to hire quickly, or to source more suitable candidates should stop thinking of the "sticker price" of contract recruiting and pay more attention to the costs avoided by making better hiring decisions the first time.  

Here are five qualities you should look for when you are evaluating RPO service providers.

1. Industry Vertical Expertise

One of the first factors you should consider when shopping for an RPO agency is whether or not they have recruiters or relationships within your industry. This will ensure that the firm should have a talent pipeline of qualified candidates or ones that can ramp up quickly. Niche agencies, like The Creative Group (a digital design and development subsidiary of Robert Half Recruiting) and Tangent International (technology) understand the unique skills and talent requirements of the industries they serve.  

Businesses should interview their RPO consultants before hiring them on a retainer or individual hire basis. If an in-person meeting isn't practical, an interview over a Unified Communications application like 8x8 Virtual Office is the next best thing. RPOs like Tangent International (TI) use 8x8 cloud communications platform for VoIP calls, video conferences, and integrate CRM systems like Talent Rover and Bullhorn to facilitate business development. 

2. References, Testimonials, and Success Stories

Just as businesses like 8x8 are more successful by sharing success stories of clients like TI, RPOs succeed because they can share success stories of their own. Recruiters check candidate references, so RPOs should be willing to share reference contacts or testimonial client stories too, both from candidates as well as hiring managers they represented. 

3. Certifications and Associations

Membership in organizations like the Society for Human Resource Management, the RPO Association and the American International Recruitment Council (AIRC) is a strong indicator that an agency is a qualified, capable RPO. The AIRC's Agency Certification is another good omen. 

4. Contract Terms

As with any relationship with an outsourcing provider, a short-term, one-time collaboration is not necessarily a good indicator of the value a long-term relationship could deliver. RPOs typically contract client engagements on an on-demand, function-specific or company-wide retainer basis. In a strong economy with historic low unemployment, businesses need all the help they can get to find the best candidates because their resumes aren't usually in the public domain. 

When talent is scarce, employers need to showcase their brand just as much as a great place to work as they do for promoting their products or services to prospective buyers. Employers need to review RPO contracts carefully, to understand the responsibilities they are undertaking, and the scope of work the RPO is taking on. Recruiting agencies can be strategic advisors on new, existing and pending employment laws, such as: 

  • Asking about criminal convictions in online applications
  • Requesting previous salary history
  • Gender-based pay equity

Leading RPOs, especially those on retainer contracts, are typically happy to advise on legal matters relating to human capital management.  

5. Candidate Screening/Interviewing Process 

Companies are generally moving away from the standard employment history interviews and adopting behavioral styles like STAR (Situation, Task, Action, Result). Online video meetings or interviews are increasingly being used in the early stages, as interviewers can learn about a candidate not from just what they say, but also from their body language during the interview. A candidate that is constantly fidgeting during the interview is likely not telling the truth, or generally uncomfortable with the process. 

Are you considering outsourcing your recruitment functions to an RPO service provider? Or are you working for an RPO agency and looking for better video conferencing/Unified Communications solutions?

The right technology makes all the difference when it comes to recruiting and retaining key talent. Streamline your recruitment process with 8x8 and focus on growing your recruitment business. Call 1-866-879-8647 or fill out our online form to request a no-obligation quote from an 8x8 Product Specialist. 

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